So Monday saw the first "Shorts on Tap" event take place at Juno Bar in Shoreditch. The event showcased ten films that were broadly based around the theme of the senses. Events like this are really important as they give a platform to young/undiscovered filmmakers and allow them to receive feedback on their films as well as meeting other filmmakers. I for one was really pleased to be a member of the jury for this event which saw about 50 people gathering for an intimate screening of the ten professionally produced films. The jury was asked to pick three winning films, the directors of which will go on to form a jury at the next event. Here are the winning films with some of my reasons as to why they were chosen.
Then We Are Together- Richard J Moir Watch it here
This was personally my favourite film of the night. From the very first shot, you could tell this was a Director that knew what they were doing, and the film is brilliantly shot throughout. However what really set this film apart from the others was that it had a real story which had been well thought through. There was also an interesting use of sound employed, with contrasting levels used to reflect the solitude of the main character compared with the bustle of the outside world. It's well worth a watch, it's a chilling ten minute film that fully deserves its place on this list.
Haze- Meiko Deren
This was a experimental film which to be honest I wasn't expecting to enjoy. However with the lights off and the sound up, you couldn't hep but be mesmerized by the heady swell of music and image. The film was inspired by the directors work with mental illness and was centered on different themes such as 'adjective' 'noun' and 'verb'. The film stood out for its originality and interesting use of techniques. It was originally meant as an art installation, but in the right atmosphere it works just as well as a short film.
Planet Gong- Ian Habgood Watch the Trailer
I have to be honest and say this wasn't in my top three. Firstly the most impressive thing about this film is that Ian had found an absolutely brilliant documentary story. The Gong Masters are a very spiritual/alternative bunch that believe that the power of gong vibrations can clean the atoms in your body and thus heal you of any stress/ailments etc. For Ian the task was easy, just point the camera and let the audience observe this strangely amusing ritual taking place. However at times I felt Ian allowed his own opinions to permeate too much in the film. Whether it be through plonky music, mocking captions (there was no need to inform the audience that one Gong Master was an ex-insurance salesman), juxtaposing the spiritual with the scientific or asking leading questions. Ian gave the rope for this harmless bunch to hang themselves and more. It's no wonder he admitted he hadn't shown his new friends the film, and wasn't looking to do so. To be fair though, the film was well made and did offer some positives towards the end. Furthermore it got the room laughing and that's never a bad thing.
Overall this was a great event and I look forward to hearing more from "Shorts on Tap" in the future. If you are interested in going then this is a link to their Facebook.